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Quint joins in with The D in D TOUR: A TENACIOUS D(OCUMENTARY) at the Santa Barbara FF!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a look at a flick from the Santa Barbara Film Festival, probably one of my most anticipated movies of the fest. D TOUR: A TENACIOUS D(OCUMENTARY) I’m a big fan of Tenacious D. I can’t say I’ve been a fan since the band first got together in the mid-‘90s, but I have been a faithful D follower since the HBO shorts and their first album. I’ve seen their show a couple of times, starting in 2001 and going up to as recent as their Katrina Benefit concert in LA. So, a documentary about the group was high on my hitlist. The doc starts with what I think is the D’s first appearance, introduced by Paul F. Tompkins on-stage in a skit with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk. They sing Tribute and get critiqued by Bob and David. The doc focuses on the period in time after they wrapped THE PICK OF DESTINY as they plan and execute their first world tour. What’s interesting is that instead of being a puff piece about this band, we spend a whole lot of time on the drama involved, the uncertainty of this tour… Jack felt like as big as it was, it was becoming bigger than the group and less fun as a result. On top of all the regular insecurities and uncertainties they find out that their movie bombed. Not just bombed, but Jack even at one point says it might as well have never come out at all, not even breaking the top 10 for the weekend box office. He’s genuinely sad about this, not just as a professional move, but he looked at THE PICK OF DESTINY kicking off a string of Tenacious D movies. We’re also shown how hard it is for Kyle Gass, being the less famous of the two and just how hurtful some of the press is. There’s one great moment when they’re at the David Letterman offices, getting ready to go on when they are alerted that Letterman only wants Jack Black on the couch. They want Kyle and Jack to perform as Tenacious D and pimp the movie (this is after release and Black has said he thinks if they kick ass on the David Letterman show they might be able to pull in some extra business for the movie), but only Jack to talk to David. Kyle’s hurt and it probably wouldn’t have been a huge deal, but on the press tour for the movie, time after time, he gets ignored for Jack. It all piles up and this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. He says he won’t play if he’s just going to be thrown aside again and Jack admirably stands by his friend. He tells the producers that if Kyle doesn’t join him on the coach then they both walk. I don’t know exactly who the audience for the doc is… there’s not really a through-line, it’s just a bunch of really interesting stuff about Jack Black and Kyle Gass as they go about their tour. It’s great for D fans, but will it have an audience outside of them? I can’t really say. Just so you don’t think it’s all gloom and doom, there’s a ton of humor (as one would expect following people like Jack Black and Kyle Gass) including an absolutely priceless moment when the two get dolled up in crowns and capes for their appearance at the Chinese Theater premiere of their movie. They don’t just get dolled up, they get into a Cutlass Supreme… a particularly dodgy, rundown Cutlass at that. The steering wheel is hanging off of the steering column, the roof is sagging down… there’s a genuine fear in the duo’s eyes as it rolls down Hollywood Blvd. You also get to see Jack bring his family along for the tour and watch him play with is kid, an absolutely adorable baby. So, for fans of the D there’s not even a question about whether you should see this movie. I don’t know if it’s something I’d recommend to people who hate the D… I don’t think it’ll change anybody’s mind about the band, but it could give them a look at people behind the mask, expose the heart of the group. But then again, if you don’t get the band to begin with then the joke’s probably lost on you no matter what else you’re exposed to.

More reviews coming! -Quint

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